Had ‘one of those days’ in the studio yesterday! I know it’s a basic
problem, but I can’t seem to win. Ugh. I’m soldering a fairly large
cuff… About 2"x6", and just can’t seem to get it heated evenly
enough to make a pre-tinned overlay of lighter metal solder
completely. I’ve already fought through attaching the bezel, and the
overlay, but needed to go back in to get a couple of corners to sit
down… then disaster. My overheated (?) piece broke. Should have
taken that ‘brain break’ from it! Frustrated with the prolonged
heating, I stupidly lost patience and picked it up with tweezers to
get some heat underneath, and that side fractured right off. Now I
have to either toss it or fix it. I was going to put a strip of
tinned 28ga behind the piece for extra support under my new ‘seam’,
but is the sterling ruined now? And I still have the same problem of
getting it all to temp, especially since I was going to put a heat
sink on top of the bezel to protect it now.
I had tried a few setups, but had arrived at raising the piece up on
a honeycomb block (with holes in it). I set that on top of the
heated charcoal block I had been trying with, in attempt to get some
heat under the heavier gauge metal of the cuff. And I have more soft
firebricks set in a wall behind it all to reflect heat. My torch is
a Swiss, lots of heat I think.
Sorry, I know that this is probably a basic problem, but I couldn’t
find much in the archives aside from building a ‘furnace’ out of a
coffee can and stove pipe. Couldn’t quite follow the instructions
for that excellent idea though.
Can someone help me out, I would love to make more cuffs like this
… In the heart of the beautiful Okanagan valley, BC.